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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Daughter wanting to quit after SI rejection


justmom

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Well said Momof3darlings. And yes, every situation is unique and I don't feel comfortable sharing details of my situation.There comes a time when a dancer who shows advanced abilities and potential will need to advance ahead of their group. It is the dance school's responsibility to keep the various levels "honest" and legit. Not all girls who have been together over the years according to age will be able to advance together.I also understand there is no true fairness or equality when artistic preference comes into play. Not favoritism as in receiving more corrections or praise in a class but favoritism based on artistic appreciation and the same two featured dancers are in every lead role or dance. These featured dancers will eventually carry more confidence with them wherever they go.If they get bumped up a level and they are challenged to their fullest potential, they will improve at a faster rate than their peers of equal abilities. Unfortunately, if a dancer is bumped up before their time in order to justify a casting decision, they are doing the dancer an injustice. If they have not mastered the skill set to meet the increased challenges of the higher level it could do more harm than good in the long run.Just as parents can look at their dancers through rose colored lenses, so can artistic directors. They can groom and promote according to their preference. It's at their discretion who is ready and who is not, to promote.My above statement was meant to be a universal comment and not based on my own experience. This is not an isolated opinion. It has been a pattern for years that is recognized by the untrained eye and even more obvious to the educated eye. I am not alone in this observation or opinion. It was brought to my attention long before I saw it affecting the levels where my children dance. After reading several posts, I found the above situations to be quite common. I just wanted to chime in because people who find their dancers in this situation tend to be in denial and they have a difficulty accepting it, often waiting too long to get a 2nd opinion or switch schools. Seeing this play out in your own school, not getting into SI of your choice (as in the situation with original poster on this thread) should not be reason to quit. 13 to 14 is a very vulnerable age, emotionally. It is also a crucial period of development for most dancers.I would definitely take my daughter to see other pre-pro schools for a new set of eyes to see her even if you have to commute to get her there.Many dancers commute 45 minutes to an hour each way for good training. Also check out Coping With Rejection on this forum. Your daughter may not be periwinkle to one, but she might just be somebody else's navy blue. Best of luck to all parents supporting their children and helping them follow their passion.

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Momof3darlings

Danza--in no way do I want you to share your own situation nor was I asking you to. Those were questions/statements for you to address internally because we do not know your individual circumstance and therefore can't comment on whether your child's placement is right on or not.

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Hi Mom of 3. I understand completely. I didn't think you meant for me to share more personal details. In my own situation I have been silently observing and I have received necessary feedback to make an informed decision.I just didn't want to put it all out there.

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momto2ballerinas

This is how my own DD is feeling now. She was wait listed for an SI that she had her heart set on. Now she feels that she's not good enough despite doing her best. This, coupled with the fact that her best friend at her studio receives all the attention and corrections, is leading her to want to quit ballet. I'm frustrated because I feel that this is just a phase but she claims that I don't understand. My DD may not be a perfect dancer at 13, but when she dances she literally lights up. I'd hate for her to throw that away.

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Sit tight, momto2ballerinas! I know many a dancer that has felt that way one day, only to totally turn around another! I believe it's just age related and they are just trying to figure out what they want. This is a good thing. She will come back, as long as she wants to and is not making a hasty decision. It's the hasty decision that has to be guarded against IMO. All you can do is reassure her that if she loves it, she should continue.

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This is the approach that we always took when things didn't go the way dd had expected: Don't let a rejection, mean dancer or perceived favortism in the studio kill your love of dance. It's the dancer that perseveres and takes the rejections in stride that has a better chance at succeeding. Explain to your dancer that this is just a bump in the road (one of many) and that she can weather this. Keep your eye on the big picture.

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Sometimes those bumps in the road, as difficult as they are... can help a dancer's love and devotion to dance deepen with time and reflection. When a dancer receives only positive feedback from the world, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the love for dance from the love for... well... positive feedback. IMO, a dancer can't truly mature and develop into an artist until they realize that they have to dance, regardless what the response is. All my best to the DDs who are feeling these growing pains this season!

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I believe a rejection can be a blessing in disguise. It can motivate the dancer to improve even more so than they would have if they had received all acceptances.. They may be more determimed to apply corrections, to strengthen technique, to develop artistry and expression, and then come back with tenacity and confidence next audition season. My DD14 (13 still during auditions) auditioned for 5 programs this year. She was invited into 3, waitlisted for 1, and rejected to 1. Each result is part of a learning experience. DD feels honored to have had the opportunity for accomplished and respected school directors, etc., to have even seen her, evaluate her, and consider her. Rejection is a necessary part of the learning experience, and while it can feel disappointing, embarrassing, insulting, and even crushing, it's VALUABLE. They will certainly experience it in auditions for professional positions if they continue this path as a career. It can be equated to falling out of a turn or falling on stage: it's how they handle it. Help your dancer see that it is a positive experience in the long run. It is part of the process of shaping her into the dancer she will ultimately become. She can even be thankful that it will help thicken her skin for the inevitable rejection that will come later. It might even help her to realize that there is more than one school for her to receive great training, and help for her not to have her heart set on one specific program or company (because more than likely, they aren't going to be hired by their fantasy company, but rather a company in which they click with and will find the satisfaction they need). She may learn through this that there are many paths to get there if she has the fire inside.

 

My DD was lucky (and unlucky if she looks at it negatively) to receive feedback from the school that rejected her. After not receiving a result a few weeks after the audition, I emailed the school, and they had typed my email address incorrectly. During the process of getting the audition result, the school's director who conducted the audition was consulted (certainly not by my request) and feedback was relayed to us on why she was not chosen. It was tough seeing it, almost insulting if we chose to view it that way. My husband suggested that I not show the email to DD, but I felt that she needs to take the bad along with the good. She was confused when she read it, because she'd felt she did well during the audition class, but respects that the director is much more accomplished and knowledgable, so she made the decision to be grateful for his expertise in his critique, because the school didn't have to provide individual feedback. To ease the blow, I did tell her, You never know, perhaps he mixed your number up with someone else's. Truth is, you don't always know what happened exactly. That's why it's so important for the dancer to learn flexibility and to go with the flow of the new or different path. DD still had 3 offers to choose from and she is content and excited. The schools that waitlisted or rejected her were not her first choices, however; I do feel empathetic that your daughter didn't get into her first choice.

 

Quitting should certainly not be based on SI results! Rejection would only serve as a benchmark if she consistently could not get into any program whatsoever. Also, if she hits a very long plateau and feels as if she is no longer improving or growing at all. Even this can be tricky to base her decision on because while the body is changing, it can affect progress. Also, if she is studying a method such as Vagonava, the process of learning muscle memory is slow and meticulous, and the student may feel as if they can't do all of the impressive "tricks" that other dancers may be doing at the same age. The deciding factor is: does she truly enjoy dancing and have the NEED to continue. Many dancers at this age decide to stop when they realize they don't have what it takes (and that's not always physically). The main thing is to help her to feep positive about herself and encourage her not to make a decision while she feels defeated. It would even be better for her to dance at a recreational level while she is deciding as an alternative to completely quitting. My DD's instructor/AD once told her that if she gets it all at once, she will not have anything to look forward to. It does seem that the harder you work for something, the sweeter it is when you achieve your goal. Have her remember, as well, that sometimes the dancers who seem to have it all ultimately burn out. Make sure you instill in her that she is MORE than only a dancer; she has value, gifts and talents in other aspects of her life. Any AD hiring out there is looking for more than just a dancer; they want their employee to be a healthy, whole individual who is well-rounded and a pleasure to work with. Encourage her to accept an offer from another school, and best wishes that she finds contentment in whichever path she chooses.

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Wow, yesterday was an awesome day of advice. I gleaned so much from each and every post. I am encouraging DD not to make a hasty decision. You are right that this age is a fragile one and she has admitted that she feels like she is in a breakable state. Unfortunately, we've added a recurring illness (in her eyes--no less) to the mix of difficult life circumstances at this time. But with all this great input I'm sure we'll get through.

 

Thank you!!!!

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momto2ballerinas

Thank you all for your wonderful insight! It is greatly appreciated. I had a heart to heart talk with my DD and she admitted that her feelings were all over the place but the one thing she knows is she wants to dance! I think 13 is a tricky age, hormones are surging and confidence kind of takes a hit when she feels that she doesn't receive any corrections at her current studio. Her exact words were that she knows ballet is her thing so honestly, I believe this rejection is a positive thing since it's forcing her to evaluate her passion for dance. Thank you again for all of the advice! Someone should sticky this thread, it's full of good info :)

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This is where my daughter still is despite acceptances at her last 2 auditions. I think one of the other posts talked about how at this age they evaluate and think about whether this is the right course for them. I wish I had the answers. DD is now thinking about all the negatives that come with dance as a profession and not seeing the positive. I'm just encouraging her not to make a decision right now but to take some time.

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I think one of the other posts talked about how at this age they evaluate and think about whether this is the right course for them.
You are wise to understand that this is a normal process in growing up. One approach might be to remind your dd that she committed to this year for dance lessons and that you feel she should live up to that commitment but she's under no obligation to sign on to an SI commitment. Maybe she's having second thoughts about the whole SI thing- not dance itself. If she hasn't committed to an SI, then allow her to decide whether she wants to do that. If she doesn't go away to an SI but finds herself wanting to dance this summer, let her take classes locally. If her desire to dance continues to wain, remind her that before she signs up for fall ballet, she should be prepared to honor the commitment. If you feel that she is ready to move on, help her not to feel bad about it. There are so many things that kids can do and guilt shouldn't be any part of the choice process. If her interest in dance continues, get ready for a wild, uncertain ride. The most important thing to remember is that you are raising a child to become a well-adjusted, happy adult; if that adult is a dancer, fine; if not, that's fine too!
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As Swanchat says, "guilt shouldn't be any part of the choice process". There is nothing worse than feeling the need to quit and being made to feel guilty about it, especially at this age where they are so vulnerable and impressionable.

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